Runway to Reality

From vivid colors worn head to toe to feathers and ruffles attached to every imaginable item alongside futuristic silhouettes, the runway is everything but boring. The trends that we see on the runway are extravagant and inspirational, but there is one conflict: how can we interpret these trends so that they are appropriate for our daily and unglamorous life? We believe that by beefing up your out of the box thinking skills, even the most variegated runway look can be made office friendly. We decided to take five catwalk trends and show you the best ways to pull them off in real life.

Working girl

The pin-striped suit of power and formality and a touch of masculinity is back. From observing the Fall 2017 RTW collection, it seems that the checked grey prints are becoming must-have pieces for every fashionista. The tailored suit borrowed from the boys’ fashion handbook is no longer limited to the Wall Street banker. Designers like Calvin KleinDries van Noten, Céline, Mulberry, Stella McCartnery, Balenciaga, and many more pushed the power suit forward through more relaxed silhouettes. To make the pinstripes everyday-ready, they have to be comfortable and roomy. A poor fit can make it look cheap, so it’s smart to pay more attention to the proportion and silhouette. You can break up the suit and pair the tailored blazer with a pair of flattering jeans or a fun blouse for an off-duty look. You can also play with contrasting and team up a vibrant color top with grey check trousers; another option is to pair it with a white polo neck for a youthful and fresh take.

Runway v. Reality (left: kelvin-klien; right: Nordstrom)

NASA is calling

It all started when Chanel transformed the runway to a space center with models who wore Space influenced versions of the brand’s classics. Metallic details and futuristic elements were also present in Saint LaurentPaco RabanneChristopher Kane and more — apparently designers adore the future and we are all waiting to lift off. But before we do, let us help you prepare in style. For a casual look, focus only on one high shine piece or limit the number of flashy fabrics. For instance, look for metallic pieces like geometric jewelry in silver or gold, or choose a sassy winter coat that evokes the Space look. For a subtler look, pair metallic booties with relaxed denim and roll up the hemline, or make it office appropriate with a monochrome outfit in muted colors.

Lady in red

It’s about time we say hello to the most powerful color of the season: Red. This fall, we spotted head to toe red in a variety of shades like crimson, cherry, and wine. Needless to say, red was a favorite among designers at fashion weeks from New York to Paris. Designers like Max Mara, Jil Sander, Bottega Veneta, Dior, and Fendi showcased the confident color in many variations, which is an indication that it’s about time you add some of the sensual red to your wardrobe. The good news is that red happens to be the most flattering color on all skin tones. The key is to find a way to make it work for your daily outfit. For an office look, break up the monochromatic appearance by pairing it with natural tones. Avoid cheap fabrics and opt for silk or wool for elegance. Keep it ladylike with a cozy red coat that will upgrade your casual outfit. For an evening look, velvet is a great option and it will bring a sophisticated sex appeal to your overall look.

Matrix

Welcome to the dark side of fashion. Since its release 18 years ago, the Matrix trilogy has inspired and continues to inspire fashion designers today. And look no further than this season to witness the Matrix’s reach. Think all black clothing, leather trench coats, crocodile prints, Neo’s bondage pants, catsuits, skinny bug=eyed sunglasses, and even more futuristic elements, all in sexy silhouettes. On the catwalk, Vetements, Balenciaga, Alexander Wang, and Balmain dialed the Matrix vibe to the fullest. The movie inspired look may be challenging for an everyday look, but it’s not an impossible mission. A leather trench coat can feel more practical when styled with a pair of skinny black jeans; or wear head to toe black with a pair of futuristic statement sunglasses. Whatever you do, just make sure to keep the look minimalistic and highly tailored.

Runway v Reality (left: Alexander McQueen; right: Aritzia)

Craftwork

This fall, arts and crafts seemed to inspire designers among all the fashion capitals. Multiculturalism and heritage craft ruled the runway, evoking folk influences blends with carefree and free spirit. The current season, the heritage craft reflected through American and British countryside traditions with rich colours and fabrics that look as if they have been woven from tapestries. Erdem, Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Valentino showcased floral embroidery dresses, while Etro and Prada drew inspiration from the 70s with patchwork jackets.  On the runway it’s always looks exciting and colourful, but for daily life the traditional crafts prints can be a bit tricky to wear, especially head to toe. You can start small by spicing up a basic outfit with a decorative handbag or add a folk style scarf.  If you consider yourself as a fashion risk taker, you can bring out the vibrancy of the handcraft piece by using bold coloured basics in the mix.

This season, arts and crafts seem to have inspired designers in all the fashion capitals. Heritage craft ruled the runway and pointed to folk influences, which blended well with a sense of carefreeness. The current season showcases crafts that evoke the American and British countrysides with rich colors and fabrics that look though they were weaved like tapestries. Erdem, Gucci, Alexander McQueen, and Valentino showed floral embroidery dresses, while Etro and Prada drew inspiration from the ’70s and showed patchwork jackets. On the runway, it always looks exciting and colorful, but for the everyday, the traditional craft prints can be a bit tricky to wear, especially head to toe. You can start small. Spice up a basic outfit with a decorative handbag or add a folk-style scarf. If you consider yourself a risk taker, bring out the vibrancy of a handcrafted pice by adding bold colored basics to the mix.

Runway v. Reality (left: Erdem; right: Anthropologie)

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The Face That Launched 1000 Ships: Fashion’s Greatest Muses

Designers and the fashion houses they’ve been entrusted with are expected to draw inspirations from hundreds of different people, places, and things every year. However, sometimes it’s a model, rather than a celebrity or place, who brings a designer their inspiration. In the last 15 years there has been a huge influx of model muses capturing the eyes of a designer and essentially becoming the face of a brand, encompassing everything the brand should be from brand and accessories to the overall look.

Mariacarla Boscono x Givenchy

Ricardo Tisci has had many muses over the span of his career. Yet none were as recognizable as Mariacarla Boscono was during Tisci’s tenure at Givenchy. Though there were different models working for Tisci at Givenchy, none of them really embodied the rebellious and strong willed nature that Tisci injected into the historic brand. The Italian supermodel’s unique beauty and fiery editorial style was a perfect match for the brutal and razor-sharp re-imagining of Givenchy. And with a career that started with the brand in 2008, Boscono has consecutively walked and worked for the brand for almost 10 years.

Freja Beha Erichsen x Chanel

When someone thinks of the quintessential Chanel girl, they may think of movie stars like Kiera Knightley and Cara Delevigne. However, the true face of Chanel throughout the 2000s was undoubtedly Freja Beha Erichsen. The cool, calm, and collected ‘it’ girl defined the Chanel image that Karl Lagerfeld created for the new millennium, having walked every show during the mid-2000s, including opening and closing many of them. But, with her heavy wispy bangs framing her stunning face, Freja’s real presence was felt in campaigns, clad in Chanel and oozing high fashion cool girl glamour.

Abbey Lee x Calvin Klein

Calvin Klein built a brand on edginess, sexiness, and an all-American cool. And with that comes the need for a model who encompasses the same things. Luckily, Austrailian beauty Abbey Lee came along and captured the eye of casting directors at Calvin Klein. The pixie faced beauty embodied the cool good-girl-gone-bad image that Calvin Klein wanted to become. Lee started her career with the brand in 2008, which continues until today with her recent campaign for the brand include 2017s Calvin Klein by Appointment campaign and 2016s Calvin Klein global campaign, making her a go to model for any of Calvin Klein’s editorials and campaigns.

Natasha Poly x Vogue Paris

When it comes to Natasha Poly: there is nothing the fashion superwoman can’t do. Having a career that spans over a decade has brought Ms. Poly up to the rank of super model stardom. And with it comes countless campaigns, editorials, runway shows, and beyond. However, no client has been more loyal to Natasha’s brand then Vogue Paris. The iconic publication began its relationship with the model when she debuted in 2004. Since then, Natasha Poly has consecutively been on either the covers and/or in editorials within the magazine. But Vogue Paris isn’t the only publication in love with her. Vogue Russia and Vogue Japan have also had long standing relationships with Natasha.

Georgia May Jagger x Rimmel London

What happens when your mother is a famous super model and your father is a rock god? Well, you carve out your own niche and dominate the British fashion and cosmetics industry. Georgia May Jagger is the daughter of fashion legend Jerry Hall and rock music legend, Mick Jagger. However, Jagger would not be left in the shadows of her parents. And this definitely wasn’t the case when she landed a deal with cosmetics giant Rimmel London, which catapulted her into the fashion world’s spotlight. Since 2010, Georgia May has been the face of everything from mascara to lipstick for the cosmetics brand, making her one of the single most recognizable faces in contemporary fashion today.

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Art x Fashion: Fashion inspired by history’s most stunning gowns

Fashion and art have always worked hand in hand like a hall of mirrors. When one creates something, the other reflects it. For centuries, art and fashion have danced with one another. Creating memorable images in either fabric or paint form. When I chose to venture into art and fashion in the first “Art x Fashion” article, the comparisons made between the artwork’s and the clothing was based on colour, print, pattern, etc. Now, the comparisons are based on some of the most stunning gowns ever painted throughout history.

Ann Demeulemeester x Thomas Hudson

Ann Demeulemeester fw17 by Sebastien Meurnier | “Portrait of Lady Frances Courtenay, wife of William Courtenay, 1st Viscount Courtenay” by Thomas Hudson | Photo: Vogue Runway

Until recently, black was a coloured reserved for mourning, not elegance. So when it came to finding a gown that matched today’s modern obsessions with the shade, a deep dive into the world of classical art was the only way to go about it. Luckily, I stumbled upon Thomas Hudson‘s beautiful painting “Portrait of Lady Frances Courtenay, wife of William Courtenay, 1st Viscount Courtenay” which showcases its main subject wearing a beautiful black gown. The sheen on the black fabric, white ruffled collar, and sleeves was mirrored by a look that walked the runway at Ann Demeulemeester this season, which featured a black dress and white shirt. The two gowns almost look like doorways. One leading to the past, the other, the future.

Loewe x Giovanni Boldini

Loewe fw17 by Jonathan Anderson | “Madame Charles Max” by Giovanni Boldini

Powder blue, not only was it named the colour of the year last year (along with rose quartz) It has steadily filtered its way through everything from fashion, to home decor, and even car colours. What sets this colour apart from other blues on the lighter spectrum is its softness, its cleanliness, its elegance, and it’s ability to remain an extremely dominant colour without looking juvenile. At Loewe, a stunning powder blue gown came down the runway looking like a clown in the wind. Immediately Giovanni Boldini came to mind. The effortless brush strokes of the blue dress in Boldini’s “Madame Charles Max” look as light as air, mirroring the billowing blue gown on the runway.

 

Calvin Klein x Thomas Cooper Gotch

Calvin Klein fw17 by Raf Simons | The Lady in Gold by Thomas Cooper Gotch

Gold is one of those colours that will always be associated with royalty. It represents the thrown, the sun, wealth, extravagance, and the God-given right to rule a kingdom. In Thomas Coop Gotch‘s painting “The Lady in Gold,” we can see how gold plays a vital role in creating an elegant and domineering atmosphere. Not only is the dress itself a beautiful hue of yellow gold, the entire painting itself is painted in various hues of warm yellow. Giving the woman in the painting a sense of sheer importance and status. At Calvin Klein, A stunning gold coat walked the runway. The gold fabric and cleave PVC overlay looked made the garment look like liquid gold. Twisting and swirling onto itself. Truly a modern take on an old royal favourite.

 

Gucci x Frans Verhas

Gucci fw17 by Alessandro Michele | “The New Bracelet” by Frans Verhas

Call it lilac, periwinkle, or lavender, or aubergine, but no colour can match the unbridled intensity of purple. Which screams “look at me!” regardless of which hue is being shown. In Frans Verhas The New Bracelet,” a soft lilac jumps out from the canvas against a neutral background. It’s clear that the intention of the painting was o put the gown itself into focus while letting the background fade away. And what a perfect colour to do just that. However, at Gucci, this purple gown was one of the only colours that was featured entirely by itself. The dominant colour creates a mesmerising look that needs little more than a lustre in the fabric itself to stand out. Just like Frans Painting, this Gucci dress captures the eye and lets the background fade away.

Chika Kisada x William Ross

Chika Kisada fw17 by Chika Kisada | “Princess Feodora of Hohenlohe-Langenburg” by William Ross

What do you think of when you think of pink? For me, I see candy, extravagance, sugar, delicateness, and power. Now, most people would agree with candy and delicateness, but why power and extravagance? It’s simple, pink is one of the strongest colours on the colour wheel. It gives off an intensity without ever experiencing any muteness in its hues. Whether it’s baby pink or fuschia, pink lights a fire unlike any other colour on the spectrum. In William Ross‘ “Princess Feodora of Hohenlohe-Langenburg,” we can see that even though the pink chosen for the gown is the softest imaginable, it still draws the eye to it. Dominating everything around it in the painting. This is also the case with this stunning pink dress at Chika Kisada aw17. The mix of bubblegum pink and dusty rose creates levels of excitement and interest in the dress. Pulling your eyes towards the harness on the model’s chest, and drawing it all the way down to the train.

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The old is the new trend

The theory that history tends to repeat itself can’t be denied when it comes to fashion. Think about all the pieces that you used to wear in your youth that are currently having their glory moments again. Appreciated designers and coveted brands have already seen the potential in bringing back successful pieces that have proved themselves in the past. This strategy is also known as retro marketing, and it’s all about taking advantage of nostalgia for the past to make current items more attractive and meaningful to the customer.

For Fall 2o16, it will come as no surprise that observing the new collections will feel like déjà vu. Be prepared to let your youth memories cycle back into your life again. Here’s a list of the old pieces that become new again:

enzil-mcneelance-in-1993-wearing-adidas-gazelles
Photo: Denzil McNeelance (1993)

Levi’s Mom jeans

One of the biggest  trends of the season is “mom jeans,” those high waisted denim jean with the back pockets, embodied by the the iconic Levi’s 505These jeans were a huge success during the 80s and early 90s and considered a must-have staple.

As a current fashion staple, “mom jeans” got a fashion forward update. Levi’s released a new collection of vintage inspired jeans, called the Wedgie Jean, which showcase all the assets of the feminine body- waist and hips- and balances between the cool attitude and sex appeal vibe. Levi’s made these jeans from a low-stretch denim, promising to highlight all your best assets.

levis-mom-jeans
Photo: Nicole Alyse, ASOS

Gazelle sneakers

Another item that you probably cherished in your childhood was the tri-striped, suede Gazelle which was recently brought back by Adidas. The leading sportswear brand evaluated the potential of the nostalgic style and decided to relaunch the Gazelle heritage sneaker with legendary model and Gazelle-lover, Kate Moss.

The sneakers were originally made in 1963 as professional soccer shoes. Their popularity grew high during the 90s and we surely believe that they will instantly be adopted by all street style lovers and  fashionistas.

adidas-gezelle
Photo: J.Crew, Michael Adams

Dr. Martens

Dr Martens, the iconic grungy shoes with the heavy sole boots and the yellow stitching, are returning back directly from the 90s. Whether they’re seen on the Prada and LouisVuitton runways, or on the streets, Dr. Martens allows you to channel your Seattle neo-grunge spirit. We highly recommended giving them a lady-like twist (think feminine skirt or dresses) so blurring the line between masculinity and femininity will be done perfectly.

urban-outfitters-dr-martens
Urban Outfitters

 Cavin Klein slip dress

Riding on the 90s wave, another throwback piece is having a fashion revival: the slip dress. Kate Moss in her silver Calvin Klein slip dress will remain forever etched in our memory, so no wonder the silky feminine piece has emerged back into our wardrobe without a blink.

In our modern life, the slip dress lends itself enormously well to the art of layering. You can simply wear it in any way or style. Our suggestion, for the cooler days ahead, is to balance between coziness and femininity by layering it with a t-shirt underneath and a bomber jacket on top, or pairing the silky fabric with a soft oversized cardigan.

slip-dress
Photos: Vogue Italy 1995, Journelles, Calvin-Klein SS16

Tracksuits by Juicy couture

Get ready for a big comeback directly from the 2000s, the tracksuits. The velour athletic set has a serious style statement this season and has already been seen on the catwalks of fashion houses like ChloeBurberry, Gucci and Loewe. The tracksuit originally appeared with Juicy Couture as part of their signature style and it was only a matter of time until the tracksuits made their way back into our lives. Celebrities were caught wearing them off duty back in the 2000s. Britney Spears and Paris Hilton owned one in every colour, while Jennifer Lopez showed up with the bright pink short version in her music video.

You can embrace the sporty look however you choose: with loafers, trainers, ankle boots, or even with strappy heels. Tracksuits also look amazingly stylish with tailored pieces, but keep in mind that  confidence and a cool attitude are fully required here.

tracksuit
Numero Mag, Chloe, Cosmopolitan, Juicy Couture

On Our Radar: Five Designers to Watch

1. Design Duo: Parris Gordon and Chloe Gordon

Beaufille SS16

Up-and-coming Toronto design duo Beaufille was founded by sisters Parris and Chloe Gordon in 2013 as a line of luxury artisanal womenswear and jewelry. The name Beaufille translates to “handsome girl” and symbolizes the contrast between masculine and feminine elements. With that combination of hard and soft, sisters Chloe and Parris seek to challenge the gender norms of todays society. The Gordon sisters are the recipients of the 2015 Canadian Art and Fashion Awards (CAFA), Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent, in the category of Accessories. http://www.beaufille.com

 2. Huishan Zhang

Huishan Zhang SS16

Zhang was born and raised in Qingdao, China before moving to London to study at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. He has already worked for the iconic heritage brand The House of Dior, in the leather goods branch as well as Dior’s Haute Couture Atelier.

Huishan finds inspiration and direction through his personal identity embracing a sense of Eastern meets Western attempting to portray romanticism and sophistication with feminine details. In September 2014 Huishan was named by the Business of Fashion as one of 500 individuals that shape the Global Fashion Industry. Huishan Zhang debut at London Fashion Week in September 2012 and has continued to refer to LFW as his home base ever since. http://www.huishanzhang.com/about-1/

3. Design Duo: Piotrek Panszczyk and Beckett Fogg

Area SS16

This design duo met while studying at Parsons School, pursuing their Master in Fashion Design and Society. Each of them had different backgrounds as Piotrek Panszczyk, Polish-born and raised in Holland, studied fashion at the Artez Institute of the Arts; and Beckett Fogg initially studied Architectural Design at The University of Virginia. On top of their differences, the duo found each other and was able to build a signature based on similar aesthetic vision. Piotrek has worked for names like Chloe and Calvin Klein but in 2013 reconnected with Fogg to create what is now their label, “Area”. http://area.nyc

4. Misha Nonoo

Misha Nonoo SS16

The Misha Nonoo brand lives by no other motto than its philosophy of taking women from “day to play”. The idea behind is that women should be able to “embrace their femininity while pursuing their goals” and holds unyielding in Misha’s heart. Having experienced multiple different cultural episodes throughout her life – she was born in Bahrain and raised in London – Misha explains that her upbringing is the reason for her obsession with diversity. “Progressive yet classic silhouettes with smart yet sexy details” is how one describes the creations of Misha Nonoo. http://mishanonoo.com

5. Tim Coppens

Tim Coppens SS16

Graduating from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium-born Tim Coppens now is a New Yorkbased designer who seeks to combine the components of craftsmanship, tailoring. and athleticism. Coppens inspiration derives from the energy that resides within the city lifestyle and street culture. That “pulse that feels the present and the future.”

In 2013 the Tim Coppens brand was recognized by Fashion Group International receiving the Rising Star of the Year award. One year later he took home the Council of Fashion Designers of America Swarovski Award for “Menswear Designer of the Year” and earlier this week announced that he will take on the role of Executive Creative Director for sportswear brand Under Armour. http://www.timcoppens.com